Class Actions in Canada 2012 - The Year in Review and The Year Ahead

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Explore:  Class Action

In This Issue:

Introduction; Class Action Practice Developments; Common Issues Trials; Class Actions in Quebec; Securities Class Actions; Competition Class Actions; Product Liability Class Actions; Franchise Class Actions; Employment Class Actions; and Conclusion.

Excerpt from Introduction -

The bar and bench in Canada witnessed yet another brisk year of class action activity in 2012. The plaintiffs’ bar issued a number of new claims on the heels of high-profile domestic and international cases (such as SNC-Lavalin and e-books), and they achieved a number of record settlements (including a landmark settlement in principle with Ernst & Young LLP in the Sino-Forest case, for a settlement payment of $117 million). Moreover, in a number of contested cases in the common law provinces, the courts have reaffirmed yet again that a plaintiff’s evidentiary threshold to establish commonality and preferability at the certification stage is a relatively low hurdle. In Quebec, the courts certified a number of significant class actions, including one of the largest environmental class actions in Canada. However, there were a number of significant (and, in some cases, surprising) developments in 2012 that favoured defendants, including the outcome of a number of large common issues trials as well as a number of key certification and other rulings. These developments suggest that 2013 may be a tipping point for the maturing class action jurisprudence in Canada.

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